Australian violist Henry Justo has been awarded the acclaimed prize and AUD21,000


2023 Freedman Classical Fellowship winner Henry Justo © Shane Rozario

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Australian violist Henry Justo has won the 2023 Freedman Classical Fellowship and AUD21,000 (£11,000). The final’s results were announced following a performance on 15 October at The Neilson, Pier 2/3 ACO, alongside other finalists violinist Courtenay Cleary and flautist Jonty Coy. The jury comprised Australian National University (ANU) School of Music head, Professor Kim Cunio, flautist Lamorna Nightingale, and pianist Simon Tedeschi.

Justo will use the prize money towards his project ‘Connect’, a curated installation piece that reflects on how we all connect with place and ourselves. Working together with composer Cathy Milliken and media artist Mike Daly, Justo will explore the human need for connection in relation to where we are in the world.

Justo, originally from Brisbane, Queensland, is currently pursuing a Master of Music with Volker Jacobsen at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany, and is an acting musician with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with numerous ensembles, including the Sydney Chamber Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Melbourne, Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.

The Freedman Fellowship Awards are bestowed annually to young Australian instrumentalists aged 35 or under, in both classical and jazz categories. The awards are managed by The Music Trust and are funded by the Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation chaired by Laurence Freedman AM and Kathy Freedman AM. To be considered for the award, 16 musicians are nominated by leading figures from across the industry, who must then propose a project of significant scale to the value of AUD21,000. A host of leading Australian musicians are past winners of the prize, of which recent string winners include last year’s winner violist Katie Yap, violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller, cellist Richard Narroway, and ACO principal violist Stefanie Farrands, who won in 2016.

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